Parking Meters One Step Closer to Coming to Fargo

North Dakota is the only state banning parking meters, but that could soon change

FARGO, N.D. — Parking meters may be on their way to Fargo.

A bill passed by the state house would repeal the more than sixty–year–old ban on parking meters in the state if it makes it through the State Senate.

After talking to businesses in downtown Fargo, it’s clear opinions are divided on parking meters.

“We have a lot of customers that come in in the morning and they’re grabbing a quick couple dozen to go and take to work,” said Ann Marie Olson, who is the manager at Sandy’s Doughnuts. “They’re grabbing a quick doughnut and a cup of coffee. So for us, I think it might be a bit of a deterrent.”

“I think it would be a good option to have and a good part of our toolbox,” said Greg Danz, who is the owner of Zandbroz Variety. “I think it works well in other communities so the possibilities for downtown Fargo and for Fargo I think would be good.”

Currently, people can park for 90 minutes in most areas downtown without paying.

City planning said if parking meters were implemented downtown, it would encourage faster turnaround rates for the spots in front of local businesses.

“You’re looking at parking meters going into spaces that have high demand,” said Fargo City Planner Derrick LaPoint. “Certainly they don’t work for the entire city or even for all of downtown.”

City Commissioner Tony Gehrig said he’s worried parking meters would have a negative effect on local business.

He thinks the idea of paying to park would be more likely to deter shoppers from frequenting areas with meters.

City Planning said it’s all about giving people more options.

“The technology with parking meters, now–a–days you have the choice,” said LaPoint. “You know you have the ability to park there for a half hour; you have the ability to park there for four–plus hours. I think it just provides flexibility and different options for people to look into.”

Mayor Mahoney suggested meters downtown would be free for the first hour to encourage fast turn around rates.

He said the main objective isn’t to collect funds from the meters, but any money gathered will likely go towards the city’s parking fund.

City planning said even if the bill does pass, parking meters likely won’t be in our future anytime soon.

It could take upwards to six months to a year to implement in the city.


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